Manchester United captain Katie Zelem has withdrawn from Phil Neville’s England squad for their September training camp after testing positive for COVID-19.
Zelem was due to link up with the Lionesses but will now undergo self-isolation in accordance with protocol. As it stands, there are no plans to call up a replacement for the midfielder.
Having started her career out at Liverpool, the 24-year-old then moved on to Juventus where she made 22 appearances across her one season in Serie A. A move to United took place in 2018, where she has excelled in midfield, earning the captain’s armband prior to the beginning of last season.
Neville’s side won’t play a competitive fixture until 27 October when they travel to the Brita Arena in Wiesbaden to play Germany, but were nevertheless due to link up and train with the rest of the Lionesses squad.
The United captain is not the only player who won’t travel with the national team, as Lucy Bronze has also withdrawn from the training camp to manage an injury picked up in Sunday’s Barclays FA WSL match against Brighton. Bronze played the full 90 minutes of the 0-0 draw, but has now returned to her new club Manchester City for treatment.
In place of the former Lyon defender, Isobel Christiansen has been called up. Christiansen was last capped for England in March 2019 as a member of the Lionesses’ SheBelieves Cup winning squad in the USA, before undergoing ankle surgery which ruled her out of last summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Like Bronze, Christiansen returned to English football having previously spent time with European champions Olympique Lyonnais. In December 2019, she signed an 18-month deal with Everton to have her first taste of WSL action since the 2018, having turned out for the Cityzens prior.